Data and Your Loyalty Program


Data can transform your restaurant's loyalty programs, marketing, and customer engagement. Coupons and BOGO offers filling inboxes are no longer enough to remain relevant to your customers. They expect individualized marketing that connects with them in a meaningful way.

The ability to use data to cater to the specific needs and desires of your customer base has transformed the way restaurants are able to market and attract existing and new clientele. “Big Data” is the “collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis,” according to Lisa Arthur the author of Big Data Marketing. Creating a system that uses detailed knowledge about each individual customer allows you to create a loyalty program that will build your brand and engagement with your customers.

Long gone are the days when a diner will be impressed with a generic coupon or BOGO promotion, now they expect loyalty programs that are specific to their favorite dishes, servers, and locations. Traditional loyalty programs are expensive and irrelevant to today’s customer. According to an Accenture study, 77% of consumers now retract their loyalty more quickly than they did three years ago and 36% of consumers consider loyalty irrelevant to their spending.  

In order to stay relevant and engaged with your customers you must find what will inspire them to visit week after week. Capturing the data at your disposal is the greatest asset you have towards building that loyalty and engagement.

In order to use the data to its greatest ability, you must know what data is important and relevant to your business, how to gather it and how to use it to best market your programs.

P.F. Chang’s uses their data to create a seamless marketing funnel that is catered to each specific customer. According to, “P.F. Chang’s guests sign up for its loyalty program, they provide their name and email address. Additional data from analytics tools allows the P.F. Chang’s marketing team to then tailor communications to different customer segments. So, if the restaurant chain knows that a particular customer usually stops by for lunch and orders the same dish, they may choose to send that customer a deal for that dish with a unique barcode, making the promotion trackable. 

Every piece of data has value. Even the most trivial or detailed piece of data, when placed together with all of the collected data, can help create a complete picture that will help your restaurant serve your loyal customers better.  

Using data to transform your restaurant's loyalty program will ensure that you remain relevant and top of mind to your valued customers. Email strategies of the past, with generic discounts and BOGO offers, are not going to capture their attention and get them in the door. With the vast amount of information available, and many other industries applying marketing this way, it is crucial for your restaurant's survival to implement these strategies. 

About Butts in Seats!

When it comes to restaurant marketing, we know what we are talking about. Gina Lee, President, respectively, of IMM has 25+ years of experience in the vertical. So, when they talk about the tools, tips and resources your restaurant needs to succeed in the Butts in Seats blog and newsletter, rest assured they’ve got it covered.

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